Last week former WBC light middleweight champion Jermell Charlo, 28, was acquitted of domestic violence charges. He had been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a woman at his Dallas condo last May (per Los Angeles Times).
Charlo’s charges included felony domestic assault and misdemeanor assault after he was accused of choking and striking the woman. Charlo rejected the offer of a plea deal in the case and instead went to trial, knowing he could have faced a three to ten year sentence if convicted.
The trial began on Monday, March 18th and lasted for three days. Despite the jury ruling in favour of Charlo, his accuser has filed a civil case against him which is expected to go ahead (per Sporting News).
“I can’t express how happy and relieved I am to be acquitted of these very serious charges,” said Charlo. “I was accused of choking and striking a woman, which is a horrible crime that I didn’t commit.”
“This case, and the fear of losing my freedom and livelihood, has hung over me like a dark cloud for almost a year,” continued Charlo. “I couldn’t really focus on my training and I couldn’t leave the United States to pursue various business opportunities. I couldn’t even register as a trainer. I was offered a plea deal that I could not in good conscious accept because I wasn’t guilty. I’m happy that the jury did its job and I want to thank them for that. I also want to let the world know that Iron Man is back!”
Charlo fought twice between being charged and acquitted for assault. The first fight, in June 2018, saw him defend his WBC 154lb belt versus Austin Trout at LA’s Staple Center. The second fight ended in a controversial unanimous decision loss to Tony Harrison at the Barclays Center in New York.
That loss to Harrison was the first loss of Charlo’s 32-fight career. Charlo is planning to rematch Harrison in his return fight sometime this summer. Charlo’s twin brother Jermall is the WBC interim middleweight champion with a record of 28-0.